Thursday, January 12, 2006

Is this motoring’s future? Smart cars arrive in BDA

Helen Jardine, The Bermuda Sun

“Smart cars should be mandatory in Bermuda!” claims Suzie Pewter, the proud owner of Bermuda’s smallest car, and she seems to have a point — they’re economical, hardy, environmentally friendly and just plain smart, so it does seem like the an car for Bermudians.
Lets’ begin with the obvious: it’s a small car. Tiny enough, in fact, to squeeze two of them into a single space, which means parking in town couldn’t get any easier.
“My car’s length is shorter than the width of some of our cars’, says Mrs. Pewter.
Llew Peniston, who has an interest in the company, agreed: “the vehicles fit perfectly on our roads”.
However, its size on the outside does not impact its size on the inside.
“There’s so much leg room. This one guy came up to my car laughing at its size. I said ‘Are you laughing at my car?’ I made him get in, which he did easily, and he was so shocked, as he was convinced that he wouldn’t fit cause he was 6 foot 4.”
If the desire to be different is what puts you off then listen up…not only does the Smart car come in a variety of colours (including cotton candy pink girls!), but you can also take the panels off the car and change the colour yourself, a feat which Smart spokespeople claim will take no longer than 70 minutes.
However, don’t be misled, this car not some toy which will fall apart at the slam of a door. It’s made of fibreglass, so it will not rust, which is perfect for Bermuda’s humid climate. Additionally, the fibreglass exterior allows for a certain amount of ‘give’ upon impact so that a dent will just bounce back into place.
Studies have shown that an S class Mercedes hitting the Smart will receive more damage than the Smart car.
Economically, it would seem they cost far less to keep on the roads than many of their rivals, and licensed as an ‘A’ class car, it is cheaper to put it onto the road in the first place. Once on the road it is capable of doing 70 miles to the gallon, and Suzie Pewter claims she only has to fill up every four weeks, and has only ever changed the oil once, despite having it for a year and a half.
Environmentally, Smarts have low emissions, as they are up to 35 per cent lighter than most cars in their segment, which goes a long way towards giving them some of the lowest carbon dioxide emissions in their class. Built with all the standard mod-cons, including air-conditioning, am/fm radio and the choice of driving it either stick shift or automatic, it’s no doubt a versatile little car.
How long would you have to wait? Light enough to be flown in on a flight from London, Heathrow, they can be on our shores in only seven days; any colour, any type.
The cars cost between $24,'0 to $26,5', and have enough street cred that Formula 1 driver David Coulthard has been zipping around Monaco in one.

Source: The Bermuda Sun

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